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“Backseat” – Nayana Nair

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we get onto the car
that we wish was stolen
i look at her (not my lover, yet),
at him (my friend – we share the same passion
of finding new things to be disappointed about),
i look at the the small bags we have packed
and realize that this is far too less to start a life
i count them as i get in
i realize one of us probably
has nothing worth carrying around in life.

she keeps telling me that unlike us
she has to take care of things
so she is bound to be late
she says this while she texts the food preferences
of her beloved pet
to someone who owes her one
(i feel something similar to jealousy seeing this).

and he keeps changing the radio station
as if he knows what he is looking for,
as if he has grown up on radio songs and commercials,
but he hasn’t.
he says that is what makes it more romantic,
the unknown that was always in front of you
to finally acknowledge something
that shouldn’t have been invisible from the start.

i just look at them, making mental notes,
calculating the chances that we might come to our senses
(that would be pretty sad, if that happens).
i keep looking back
as if i was being abducted,
dragged out of heaven against my wishes.
but it is no heaven
(not anymore).

so i sleep in the backseat
hiding my tears under the blanket of darkness-
since i do not want to recall every thing
that made this place and my body unholy, unbearable;
since i don’t want ask these two
about what they are running away from.
i wonder if i will ever know a home
that won’t drive me away.

“Outside (Me)”- Nayana Nair

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Outside me
there is a wide world,
there are your wide arms ,
a beautiful fate with your voice,
words that you and I made together,
a seat for two, a future for more.

Outside me
exists everything I ever cared for,
ceaselessly asking me to open up
telling me this would be the end of my loneliness
if I do the ‘letting-in’ this time.

Outside me
there supposedly exists a world
that doesn’t hate me as I thought it would.
I know it isn’t me,
it is what I love that keeps you all away.
But what good is laying myself bare
when I can only breathe in the darkness
that you and this world hates so much.

“What do you know?” – Nayana Nair

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why is it so
that i can only choose love if i let myself look weak.
it should have been easy to look weak and crumbling,
when that is what i feel all the time.
but it isn’t easy.
maybe because the weakness of my heart has never made me look incompetent,
it just made me look cold and aloof.
being good for nothing is more tragic than being broken or being hated.

how hard i have tried all my life to be good at something.
so that i am not useless, so that people don’t leave me behind on purpose,
so that i can at least look like someone capable and not be embarrassed of myself.

after all the years of running around
and making myself believe
that soon, soon i will become someone i can be proud of;
instead of finding myself, i find you.
i find the in myself the want
to let go of this control, that hurts my hands,
but letting go hurts my pride.

somehow i can’t stop blaming you for asking me to live as me,
for asking me to stop hurting myself.
what do you know about the life i have lived?
what do you know about the things i have sacrificed for living like this?
how can you ask me to break what i have built for years?

i cry, i push you away, i cling to the what i am supposed to be,
asking you why you can’t just be what i supposed you would be.
again i am asked to choose between me and this world.
again i know i will choose myself.
(by choosing to please the world rather than choosing myself?)
but you have some nerve to declare that i won’t.
i hate you for your stupid confidence
and your disregard for all that i will lose.

“Incomplete Sentences” – Nayana Nair

Sit beside me
while I sleep.
Put your hand into my soul.

I do not not where it is.
Maybe you would have to find it first
before we can start with anything.

But finding this soul
I think
would be a start in itself.

In my dreams, become the air
that insists on not letting me fall
when I try to jump to my …

You know what I want to say,
right?
Don’t let me complete such sentences.

Help me find
what I have lost
to my grief.

Maybe in what I have lost
lies my will to live,
lies my hope to love you better.

“My place in this cruel landscape” – Nayana Nair

when i stood

in front of the respected uncaring adults
who could never see me,

beside the fickle-minded fun-seeking friends
who smoked ‘idgaf attitude’ every night,

holding the hands
of the demanding demeaning frightening voice
of the one i wanted to love,
the one i almost loved,

i knew how to smile.
i knew how to let them off the hook.
i knew how to care for all those
who don’t have to care for such things.

and so i make it through another day,
another month, another year,
trying not to break anyone anymore,
trying not to abandon anyone,

making a list of all things that were once beautiful about them,
convinced that this imperfect me deserves only suffocating relationships,
careful not to see hope in any short-lived moment of affection.

“What I Remember (11)” – Nayana Nair

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beauty may be only skin deep
but lack of it goes deeper than that.
so deep
that you end up learning to want things
that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about.
i wish i could remember every face
that was surprised to know
that i am okay with looking older than i am,
surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats
especially when i have got so much of it.
every morning i wake up
they hover over me like faceless shadows
with black markers, drawing over my body
showing me all that is wrong,
giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at,
hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern,
whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen
and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me.
it made me wonder
that maybe going under the knife
wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers.
that maybe i am supposed to love myself
only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love.
i would have understood if they cared,
if they actually meant good,
but they don’t
because they know nothing more than my name
and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions.
i want to say they are wrong,
but i have suffered their gaze for so long
that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see.
there are days that i obsess over a passing comment.
there are days i beat up myself for being like this.
i starve and fail,
i try to get over their words and fail,
i try to hate myself and fail.
i want to say it doesn’t matter
but it does
because i am tiring myself out
by trying to see something good in me,
by apologizing to myself,
by trying to save my heart
while they burn my body in the woods.

“Your Cactus” – Nayana Nair

i never learnt about gardening, nor about patience, nor about caring,
nor about looking after anything that doesn’t speak, doesn’t complain,
doesn’t tell me in plain words how i am terrible, how i mistakes make me
even if those mistakes are not mine.

i wish i was blind, i wish i was mute,
i wish i was the cactus in your bedroom.
i wish i was the books you didn’t read but can’t throw away.
i wish i could stop wanting to be a decoration in your life.
i wish i could stay human and stay in love at the same time.

in my room
i close my eyes, and find myself with you.
it must be dream, i wish it was.
for here you don’t cry because of me,
don’t have to tear yourself up just to be nice to me.
i wish it was a dream
because here i have forgotten to tell you
that i can’t love anything that loves me back.
i wish you stop making my heart ache with your sincerity.
i wish i woke up
before you sacrifice anything more than you already have.

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